What Benefits are Available to Help Pay for Long Term Care?

If you, or your loved one, are sure to need long term care, determining how to pay for it can be extremely stressful. Long term care can be very costly and is not something for which many consumers are prepared, either financially or emotionally.  Self-funding long term care can often mean depleting savings and assets and worrying about how other necessities will get paid, given the high expense of long term care. However, the State does offer some assistance and there are some options available to help off-set the cost of paying for long term care. Understanding the benefits that are available to help pay for long term care can be the first step in ensuring that you receive all of the help for which you are eligible. This help can often mean that other funds are freed up to pay for other necessities or expenses.

NHS registered Nursing Care Contribution
This benefit is available to help pay for long term care and is funded by the NHS. It is paid directly to the nursing home that provides your care and can only be used toward nursing care specifically. This benefit does not cover other costs for those who are self-funding their care. These other costs include personal care, board, or accommodation. If you are self-funding, you would have to cover these costs.  The current level of Registered Nursing Care Contribution in England is £108.70 each week. This benefit does require an assessment process which should take place when the consumer is recognized as needing nursing care.

Attendance Allowance
This benefit is available to consumers aged 65 and over who need assistance with basic life functions such as eating and bathing. This is a non means-tested benefit that is available to help for long term care and can be used by all age-eligible consumers, whether they live in residential care or their own home. As of right now, there are currently two rates of benefit for attendance allowance. The higher rate is used for care that is needed around the clock. The lower rate of care is for those consumers who only need assistance part of the time. This part time assistance can be used during the night or during the day.

Personal Expenses Allowance
Those consumers who have qualified for assistance through the State are still allowed to keep a small portion of their income. This income can be used for whatever the consumer chooses and is called the Personal Expenses Allowance which is currently a flat rate of £23.50 each week.

Determining how to pay for long term care can be both stressful and confusing. However, these options, and others, are available to you to help you decide how to pay for your care, or the care of your loved one. Speaking with a financial expert can help to alleviate some of the stress of making these difficult decisions but it is also important to know as much about what is offered and available to you as possible. Knowing your options can often help make the decision making process a little bit easier. A professional can then help you understand the options better and explain to you what your best choices are, given your particular and unique financial situation. Any amount of assistance from the state can be a help when paying for long term care. However, you must know what is available to you in order to know how to apply for assistance and services.